Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop

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Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop

(hardware, standard)
(FC-AL) A fast serial bus interface standard intended to replace SCSI on high-end servers.

FC-AL has a number of advantages over SCSI. It offers higher speed: the base speed is 100 megabytes per second, with 200, 400, and 800 planned. Many devices are dual ported, i.e., can be accessed through two independent ports, which doubles speed and increases fault tolerance. Cables can be as long as 30 m (coaxial) or 10 km (optical). FC-AL enables self-configuring and hot swapping and the maximum number of devices on a single port is 126. Finally, it provides software compatibility with SCSI.

Despite all these features FC-AL is unlikely to appear on desktops anytime soon, partly because its price, partly because typical desktop computers would not take advantage of many of the advanced features. On these systems FireWire has more potential.

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References in periodicals archive ?
The AFX 410W Workgroup Storage Server delivers up to 82GB of RAID level 3 file storage via a dedicated, high-speed SAN based on ANSI standard Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop technology.
EMC has implemented industry-standard Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop, a high-speed serial data transfer interface used to connect computer and storage systems.
It supports the direct connection of up to 126 devices on a single Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL), at distances of up to 10km.
Raidtec's new Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop subsystems, enclosures and PCI controllers give system administrators greater data transfer capacity and more networking options.
The new Fibre Channel products include the EMC Symmetrix 3000 Integrated Cached Disk Arrays provided by HP, the HP High Availability Disk Array Model 30/FC, the Fibre Channel 1,062Gb/s host adapter card, the HP High Availability Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) Hub and an HP Fibre Channel-to-SCSI Multiplexer unit.
55 Gbyte low-profile drives support the latest in high-performance, industry-standard interfaces: UltraSCSI and Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL).

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